Prepay Plans for Electricity Offer Alternative to the Usual Monthly Power Bill

Prepay Plans for Electricity Offer Alternative to the Usual Monthly Power Bill

Proponents see opportunity for conservation, but critics warn of risks for consumers.
Friday, June 6, 2014 - 5:00pm
During the summer, temperatures in the Dallas suburb of Seagoville often approach triple digits. "If you add 15 degrees to the Dallas high, that's how hot it is," says Cameron Donaldson, a Seagoville resident.
 
Donaldson is among a growing number of electricity users around the country who are buying power for their homes up front, as they would buy minutes on a phone card, rather than paying monthly for power after they use it.
 
With electricity prices steadily rising in the United States and utilities adopting new pricing models to take advantage of smart grid technology and faster communications, prepay is one billing option that is gaining ground. Proponents of the new prepay models say they can give customers like Donaldson more control over their energy usage and costs while encouraging conservation.
 
CATEGORY: Energy